Just. Stop. Possibly the worst focus you can have while trying to increase your flexibility is the progress itself. Flexibility is s-l-o-w. While in two weeks of regular physical activity you should increase your intensity by about 15%, in two weeks of flexibility training you will be doing essentially the same stretches. Your progress will seem so minute that it is easy to give up. So forget progress.
When I stopped trying
This is one of my favorite flexibility tricks, all the sweeter because I just got it back after giving birth in November. I think if I had focused on recovering all that I lost in terms of pole, I would probably be drafting a Craigslist listing right now instead of a blog post. I did not stop stretching but I also did not over stress my mind or body; I stopped trying for progress and started trying for routine. The day I first achieved this pose it was more like suddenly feeling a cold, disembodied limb touch my head and hands--I was not expecting it. I was working towards it, but not working towards progress.
Learning to enjoy the process
Stretching sucks. It takes forever, it can be weird to do in front of others, and it hurts. Okay, so I don't completely mean that--I love stretching but I think it is more that I love the process. I make plans to stretch and my fellow Flexines keep me accountable but I also play music that gets me inspired and wear cute outfits so I feel the part. I definitely share my milestones and I brag (as you should, be proud and celebrate yourself, how many other people can do what you can?). For my photography guru friends... I apologize for my fuzzy video screencapture and all-too-slowly evolving image editing, er, skills. This too is a learning process I am trying to enjoy more and criticize less; we'll see how that goes. I believe it is critical to love the progress but do not lose sight of the fact that imperfection is part of the journey. You will have messy, uncomfortable poses before you have clean lines.
Love that, too.